Analysis: Instant impressions from UW’s hard-fought 22-20 win over Oregon State
It’s OK to breathe now, Husky fans.
You can put the paper bag away and quit fanning yourself in terror. Your team is still undefeated, and they’re heading to the Pac-12 title game, even if it felt like you got there by riding a roller coaster without a seat belt.
In a game where Michael Penix Jr. wasn’t anywhere close to his best, the defense bent but never broke and the rain fell hard, Washington came away with a 22-20 win over Oregon State — their 18th straight victory — on Saturday in Corvallis, Ore.
Here are three instant impressions from the game.
Instant game story: No. 5 UW Huskies hang on to beat No. 10 Oregon State 22-20 to stay undefeated
With 14:02 left in the third quarter Saturday, Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw his second interception to UW cornerback Jabbar Muhammad. The fifth-ranked Huskies took over on the enemy’s 22-yard line, with a 22-10 lead and an opportunity to extend it.
In that moment, a 17-game winning streak seemed relatively secure.
Instead, the Beavers ripped off 10 consecutive second-half points … but the Huskies managed to hold on for a 22-20 win and a spot in the Pac-12 championship game in two weeks.
Following that fateful interception, UW tight end Quentin Moore was called for a holding penalty on first-and-10, backing the Huskies up. After three consecutive short completions failed to move the sticks, sophomore Grady Gross knocked through a 34-yard field goal …
Which was nullified by a Quentin Moore false start.
Rather than deflating a rain-drenched crowd inside Reser Stadium, UW granted Oregon State a game-saving reprieve.
The Beavers didn’t waste it.
Ballgame: UW gets first down to run out clock
Ballgame. The Huskies are going to move to 11-0 — and are headed to the Pac-12 championship game.
On third-and-3 with the clock stopped at the Oregon State 40, Michael Penix Jr. hit Rome Odunze — who else? — for 19 yards to run the clock out.
UW defense holds on fourth-and-5 to get offense ball back
Oregon State went for it on fourth-and-5 from the UW 47 — and the Husky defense came up clutch with a huge stop.
UW gets the ball back with just 2:08 remaining in this one, leading 22-20.
Oregon State has two timeouts left to attempt to get the ball back.
UW offense gives defense a slight breather, but punts back to Oregon State again
The drive: 6 plays, 34 yards, 2:38.
The story: The UW offense got a few first downs and gave their defense a breather … but they’re punting back to Oregon State yet again in this second half, only leading by two points.
Next possession: Oregon State starts at own 5-yard line.
Time left: 7:55 in 4Q.
UW defense forces Oregon State to settle for field goal
The scoring play: Oregon State kicker Atticus Sappington made a 35-yard field goal.
The drive: 10 plays, 50 yards, 4:42.
The story: If the Huskies end up winning this game, forcing the Beavers to kick a field goal here will probably have a lot to do with it. The UW defense did not look great again on this drive, allowing Oregon State to reach the red zone, but stiffened when it mattered most, forcing two incompletions after a tackle-for-loss.
The score: Washington 22, Oregon State 20. 10:40 remaining.
End of third: Washington 22, Oregon State 17
The No. 5 Huskies lead the No. 10 Beavers 22-17 as the third quarter comes to an end.
After a nearly 10-minute touchdown drive and an untimely three-and-out by the Huskies, Oregon State has the ball back to begin the fourth quarter.
Oregon State rushes for TD, completing 16-play, 9:56 scoring drive
The scoring play: Oregon State running back Damien Martinez rushes for a 5-yard touchdown.
The drive: 16 plays, 78 yards, 9:56.
The story: Well, that is exactly what Oregon State wanted to do with that drive to cut UW’s lead to just five points. 16 plays and nearly 10 minutes of possession. The third quarter is already almost over! How will the Huskies’ offense respond?
The score: Washington 22, Oregon State 17. 1:29 left in 3Q.
Grady Gross misses UW’s first field-goal attempt of the game
Following Jabbar Muhammad’s second interception, the Huskies stalled fairly quickly on the ensuing possession and UW kicker Grady Gross missed a 39-yard field-goal attempt, his first of the night, just left after a false start.
UW leads Oregon State 22-10 with 11:25 left in the third quarter.
Jabbar Muhammad makes second interception in two Oregon State drives
Jabbar Muhammad started the second half just like he ended the first — with an interception.
Muhammad picked off DJ Uiagaleli at the 33-yard line on the third-and-10 play of Oregon State’s opening drive of the second half.
It was a weird half.
For Washington, weird isn’t bad.
UW quarterback Michael Penix Jr. missed nine consecutive passes at one point … but also threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Rome Odunze, and added a rushing score for the third consecutive game. The Huskies also forced a fumble and collected a safety for the second consecutive week, while limiting Oregon State to one conversion on five third downs. Junior cornerback Jabbar Muhammad broke up three passes and added an interception.
The rain was a consistent, undeniable factor in a sloppy first half. But UW (mostly) overcame the elements.
Halftime: Washington 22, Oregon State 10
After a huge pass breakup on third down, Jabbar Muhammad came up with a tipped interception to end the first half.
The Huskies lead Oregon State 22-10 at the break.
Michael Penix Jr. connects with Rome Odunze for second touchdown of the game
The scoring play: Michael Penix Jr. hits Rome Odunze for their second scoring connection on a 32-yard touchdown. Penix did not, however, find Odunze for the two-point conversion.
The drive: 9 plays, 76 yards, 3:58.
The story: That was huge. One play after scrambling for a first down on third-and-4, Michael Penix Jr. found Odunze in the end zone with his best throw in quite a while.
The score: Washington 22, Oregon State 10. 0:54 left in 2Q.
Overheard on the broadcast: “It’s been more than an hour since [Michael] Penix [Jr.] has had a completion.”
Oregon State cuts into UW’s lead with 38-yard field goal
The scoring play: Oregon State kicker Atticus Sappington hits the first field goal of the game from 38 yards out to cut into UW’s lead.
The drive: 8 plays, 52 yards, 4:28.
The score: Washington 16, Oregon State 10. 4:57 left in 2Q.
Michael Penix Jr. rushes for TD after UW is bailed out with PI penalty
The scoring play: Michael Penix Jr. rushes in the touchdown along the right edge from 5 yards out. That’s the QB’s third rushing score in the past three games.
The drive: 3 plays, 19 yards, 1:03.
The story: After recovering the Oregon State fumble, UW seemed like it was going to be held to a field-goal attempt before the Huskies were bailed out by a weak defensive pass interference penalty on an underthrown ball in the end zone. Regardless, the Huskies now have a crucial 9-point lead in what has been a chaotic first quarter-plus.
The score: Washington 16, Oregon State 7. 9:33 left in 2Q.
UW’s defense forces own fumble to give Huskies the ball back
And just like that — UW’s defense gets it back the same way.
Carson Bruener forced a fumble by OSU receiver Anthony Gould that was recovered by Jabbar Muhammad at the Beavers’ 19.
Can the Huskies punch it in?
More importantly, can Michael Penix Jr. complete a pass right now?
Dillon Johnson fumbles in red zone after long rush
On third-and-4 from the Oregon State 48, Dillon Johnson took a draw up the middle 43 yards and appeared destined to nearly reach the end zone before OSU defender Kitan Oladapo knocked it out at the 9-yard line. The Beavers recovered at the 5.
Sack by Bralen Trice forces Oregon State to punt
The drive: 3 plays, minus-9 yards, 1:42.
The story: A false start backed up Oregon State, which put in freshman QB Aidan Chiles on that drive, on second down. Bralen Trice came up with a huge sack on third-and-10 to force the punt.
Next possession: UW starts at own 46.
Time left: 12:23 in 2Q.
Kirk Herbstreit attributes incompletions to Michael Penix Jr. being late on throws
Michael Penix Jr. hasn’t completed a pass since completing four of his first five passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. The weather is obviously a big factor, with several receivers dropping passes in the wet conditions. But ESPN broadcaster and former QB Kirk Herbstreit pointed out another potential issue.
“Penix is late on a lot of his throws tonight,” he said on the broadcast. “I don’t know if it’s the conditions or if the defense is confusing him. … I’m sure they’re going to get on the sideline and talk about that timing and rhythm.”
Rain appears to be huge factor as Michael Penix Jr. can’t complete passes
The drive: 6 plays, minus-2 yards, 2:07.
The story: The rain appeared to be a huge factor on that drive as Michael Penix Jr. failed to complete a pass on UW’s third possession. UW also committed back-to-back penalties after gaining one first down … and punter Jack McCallister shanked the punt (but got a lucky bounce forward).
Next possession: Oregon State starts at own 27.
Time left: 14:05 in 2Q.
Things could get weird but UW is winning — for now
It’s raining inside Reser Stadium.
This could get weird.
On a damp evening in Corvallis, Ore., UW quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has thrown five consecutive incompletions, while an Oregon State snap soared through punter Josh Green’s hands for a Husky safety (its second in as many weeks). Oregon State running back Damien Martinez rushed for 40 yards, 5.7 yards per carry and a touchdown in the first quarter alone.
But Washington is winning. Let’s see if it stays that way.
End of first: Washington 9, Oregon State 7
The No. 5 Huskies lead No. 10 Oregon State 9-7 at the end of the first in Corvallis, Ore.
After a safety with just over a minute left in the first quarter, UW has a first-and-10 at its 43 to open the second quarter.
Oregon State’s punt goes over punter’s head and results in UW safety
The scoring play: Oregon State’s long snapper overshot its punter, who kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
The drive: 6 plays, 6 yards, 3:23.
The story: Oregon State appeared to have gained its second first down on a big rush, but was hit with a holding call that backed up the Beavers, forced a punt and ultimately resulted in a safety.
The score: Washington 9, Oregon State 7. 1:12 in 1Q.
UW offense responds with three-and-out after Oregon State’s TD
The drive: 3 plays, 0 yards, 0:29.
The story: Oof. That’s a rough three-and-out for the Huskies after Oregon State easily drove down the field to respond to UW’s touchdown.
Next possession: Oregon State starts at own 34.
Time left: 4:40 in 1Q.
UW needs to avoid mistakes on the road
UW appeared to force a three-and-out on Oregon State’s opening drive, when Beavs quarterback DJ Uiagalelei delivered an errant throw on third-and-6. But Husky edge Bralen Trice jumped offsides, the Beavs converted … and then rushed for 42 yards, seven yards per carry and a touchdown on an efficient 75-yard march.
If UW can’t avoid costly mistakes, and slow a physical OSU rushing attack, it’ll be hard to win on the road.
Oregon State responds with short rushing TD
The scoring play: Oregon State running back Damien Martinez ran to the right for a 3-yard touchdown on the Beavers’ first possession.
The drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 4:46.
The story: After a great opening drive for the UW offense, the Huskies’ defense didn’t impress. Oregon State gained first down after first down after an offsides penalty by UW on the Beavers’ first third down of the drive.
The score: Washington 7, Oregon State 7. 5:09 left in 1Q.
Alphonzo Tuputala not playing after midweek injury
Standout UW linebacker Alphonzo Tuputala was a late scratch for the Huskies. He was injured mid-week, but the team thought he would be able to play before he was scratched before the game, ESPN’s Holly Rowe reported on the broadcast. Linebacker Carson Bruener is starting in his place.
Michael Penix Jr. finds Rome Odunze for first TD on UW’s opening drive
The scoring play: Michael Penix Jr. hits Rome Odunze for a 12-yard touchdown on third-and-9 from the Oregon State 12.
The drive: 10 plays, 63 yards, 4:58.
The story: What an opening drive for the Huskies, who were given the ball to start this one after the Beavers deferred the coin toss. UW converted three third downs on the possession, with some solid playcalling freeing up Rome Odunze a few times and ultimately getting the Huskies into the end zone.
The score: Washington 7, Oregon State 0. 9:55 left in 1Q.
What to watch for when No. 5 Washington meets No. 10 Oregon State, plus Mike Vorel’s prediction
Stuffing the run
UW’s coaches and players said repeatedly last week that Utah was the most physical team they’d seen all season. Better check again! No. 10 Oregon State (8-2) has found success through a consistently clobbering rushing attack, averaging 5.39 yards per carry (ninth in the nation) and 196.9 rushing yards per game (21st). Running backs Damien Martinez and Deshaun Fenwick and quarterback DJ Uiagalelei combine to systematically wear down defenses. On the other side, UW’s defense has been concerningly inconsistent — sitting seventh in the Pac-12 in rushing defense (140.3 yards allowed per game) and eighth in opponent yards per carry (4.37). After holding Utah to a more respectable 115 rushing yards and 4.3 yards per carry a week ago, can the Huskies repeat the feat (and consistently get off the field) against Oregon State? We’ll see soon enough.
No. 5 Huskies embracing underdog role ahead of hostile road game at No. 10 Beavers
If you heard the sound of a chainsaw echoing through the air near Husky Stadium this past Tuesday, there was no reason to be alarmed. It was just the No. 5 University of Washington football team preparing for one of its biggest matchups of the season.
The chainsaw has been a legendary piece of the Oregon State football experience for the past 20-plus years, and the Huskies are doing what they can to be ready for it. The sound plays over the stadium loudspeakers in big moments like turnovers or third downs, fans hold toy versions above their heads in the stands, and defensive players are given the “Turnover Chainsaw” when they recover a fumble or intercept a pass — a tradition that Fox Sports described as “terrifying.”
On Tuesday, UW recruiting staffer Robbie Proano could be seen playing a chain-saw sound from a speaker at practice, just to get the Huskies used to the disconcerting noise.
Chainsaw or not, Reser Stadium is not going to be a particularly welcoming place for the Huskies on Saturday when they play the No. 10-ranked Beavers. With the Huskies still fighting for a spot in the College Football Playoff in a matchup against a fellow top-ten-ranked team, there are sure to be plenty of emotions on display in what could be the final game between the longtime Pac-12 rivals for the foreseeable future.
Seattle Times sports staff